What If You Do End Up Alone?
In a romantic context, some people can’t be alone. They just can’t. In some minds, it is better to settle than to be alone. And at a certain point, however much I disagree, I understand it. Yes, alone can be wonderful, it has more to offer than people give it credit for. But as wonderful as alone can be, there are very few of us who would say we would want to end up alone; there are very few of us who, when it’s all said and done, wouldn’t try almost anything not to end up alone. But what if you do? What if you end up alone?
People need people. It’s the fortunate and unfortunate truth; moreover, it’s hard for me to believe that anybody really, truly, wants to end up alone. Now there are those who for religious reasons or other reasons, that have made the decision to be alone, and they find it necessary for their commitment to a certain way of life. But for the rest of us, we don’t want to believe that alone could be on the cards, and for many of us it won’t be — because almost anything would be better than ending up in a life where you have no significant other to share your love, your pain, your joy, and your sorrow.
Sometimes I think I could be one of those people who end up alone. And when I have even so much as hinted this to family or friends, their first reaction is to discard it as naivety or the hidden insecurity of a 20-something girl who only knows so much about life, and by so much, they mean very little. And maybe that’s true; maybe they’re right but a history of very few romantic encounters and a personality that is sometimes more guarded and independent than it should be, might point to the possibility that ending up alone is not that far-fetched, at least that’s the way I see it.
Last week when I had lunch with one of my brothers, I flat-out told him, “I am good at being alone.” And as soon as I said it, it became something that didn’t just exist in my thoughts or in hidden metaphors — it was real; I had spoken it and all of a sudden it was real. It is real because I have always believed that not a lot of people can love any of us the way that we deserve to be loved; so I always knew that I would never give my heart away easily. The truth is I know that I am not the easiest person to love. I hold people who purport to love me to the highest standard because I hold myself to the highest standard. While I have learned to be compassionate of the imperfect love that I have to offer and that I might receive, I have also still been aware of the kind of love I deserve, and I don’t want to settle for anything less, ever.
I know I’ve got time or at least that’s what everyone tells me. But sometimes I wonder if we realize that one of the few things we don’t have much of in this life is time. And 20-something can turn to 40-something and to 60-something in the blink of an eye. Life goes by quickly and before you or I know it, we could have spent our entire lives telling ourselves that we have time. So while we are apt to telling people they have all the time in the world to ultimately find someone to love, I beg to differ, we don’t. We shouldn’t rush it but we shouldn’t lie to ourselves either — our days are short and numbered. And some of us, undeniably, will end up alone.
I don’t know what the future holds; none of us do. But every once in a while, the thought that I could end up alone strikes me so rather than push it away, I want to feel it, I want to feel the fear that comes with it so that maybe I can change that fear into something good, maybe even change it to love; some kind of love. I am a believer that you do make the choice to be alone at the end of the day; it may not be a choice you like, but it is a choice. And so I will have no one to hold responsible but myself if I end up alone. But till then, the best thing any of us can do is not to be frightened about a future that we cannot see. What we can do is be the best person we can be, and create a self that we’re happy with because whatever the future holds for any of us — alone or not — we all have to be with that self for the rest of our lives.
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Will it feel the same when you tell me you love me over the phone? Will the peacefulness of those words still floor me from thousands of miles away?
I was conflicted. It felt like one eye was trying to look away while the other soaked it up. I felt the heat rise in my face. This was wrong. But it didn’t feel wrong.
Any nervous flyer knows the progression of descending panic: bile, sweaty palms, social awkwardness and self-induced sedation.
I know how it feels when the weight of darkness crashes down onto your chest in the middle of the night, and how you wish things would stop spinning because the axis seems tilted now. I know, love, I know.